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Monday night NBA grades: All-Stars shine and a new-look Pelican

Feb 13, 2014, 4:16 AM EDT

Our quick look around the NBA, or what you missed while trying to buy jeans for an Olympic skier

source:  DeMar DeRozan, Toronto Raptors. He certainly looked like an All-Star before hopping on a plane to New Orleans — 31 points on 11-of-19 shooting, five rebounds, three assists. Granted, he was being covered by Kyle Korver for chunks of the game, but the NBA is about exploiting mismatches and DeRozan did that. With a vengeance.

source:  New look Pierre the Pelican. I get that he’s brown now — he’s a brown pelican and all — but he has fur. Do pelicans have fur? He looks like Abe Vigoda to me. The new Pierre friendlier than the nightmare fuel guy before, but I don’t know. You decide for yourself.

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source:  Blake Griffin, Los Angeles Clippers. This wasn’t a showdown with LaMarcus Aldridge to see who was the best power forward in the game, but if it was this round went to Griffin. He was attacking and aggressive, shooting 9-of-13 at the rim and drawing fouls all night. He finished with 36 points on 21 shots, plus he was able to hold Aldridge in relative check after the Blazers’ hot start. With that, the Clippers got a nice win.

source:  Jimmer Fredette, Sacramento Kings. Jimmermania came to New York City. He had 15 in the second quarter and 9 in the fourth to help the Kings to a nice win over the struggling Knicks. Of course, the Knicks helped by going under every screen and sagging off Jimmer, even when it was clear he was feeling it. Fredette has shown flashes in recent years but he is not consistent even quarter to quarter, but he was Wednesday night. He knocked down six three pointers. It was his best game of the season, hopefully for his sake he can keep it up after the break.

source:  Indiana Pacers’ offense. With their defense the Pacers offense doesn’t have to be great, but it can’t be manure either. Lately it has been — in their last 10 games they have averaged 99 points per 100 possessions, 26th in the league. We saw it against the Mavericks when the Pacers shot 32.1 percent, hit 7-of-24 from three and scored 73 against Dallas. They still had a chance at the end (until a silly Lance Stephenson foul 90 feet from the basket) because of that defense, but their offense has already gone on vacation for the All-Star break. They need to get it back when games resume.

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  1. Jeff - Feb 13, 2014 at 7:15 AM

    Overall the Pacers seem to be fading. I’d give them an F for last’s night “performance.”

    • gostlcards5 - Feb 13, 2014 at 10:22 AM

      I agree. This is the thing that, as a Pacers fan, scares me moving forward. There are times when the offense just stagnates. If they work the ball and don’t commit silly turnovers, they look very good.

      Also, they were too concerned with the lack of calls last night. The refereeing was awful (Dirk’s swinging elbow to West’s jaw, which was not called is a prime example of that), but get to a point where you play to the way the refs are calling and quit begging for calls.

  2. blueintown - Feb 13, 2014 at 7:52 AM

    Abe Vigoda wasn’t covered in fur either.

    • davidly - Feb 13, 2014 at 8:51 AM

      Wasn’t? The rumors of Abe’s demise have been persistently premature.

      • blueintown - Feb 13, 2014 at 9:05 AM

        Busted. I haven’t been this surprised since I found out Shirley Temple was still alive. Wait, what?

  3. nolahxc - Feb 13, 2014 at 8:06 AM

    The look of horror in children’s faces from the old Pelicans’ mascot was borderline child abuse. Even though the new one looks like Foghorn Leghorn, he’s definitely a lot more friendly looking. I say, I say, I agree with the C.

  4. jbeagles23 - Feb 13, 2014 at 8:22 AM

    Like I’ve said all year if the pacers don’t get home court they have no shot. They’ve said all along that’s their goal and if they can’t achieve that they will have no confidence come play offs.

  5. davidly - Feb 13, 2014 at 9:49 AM

    For sure Indiana’s offense is sluggish-to-downright-offensive more often than it is exemplary — and most of the time it is mediocre. Were it not for their defense they’d be sub-500.

    Nevertheless, they went seven with the champs and they were no scoring juggernaut last season either. That they held the more-than-30-win Mavs to 37 percent from the field and still lost? Yeah, well, that’s par-for-the-course, ain’ it?

  6. detlefschrempfriedrice - Feb 13, 2014 at 6:35 PM

    Curse of Andrew Bynum

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